3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for Wednesday 8/4/21
When being contrarian in daily fantasy sports, there's a fine line between taking a calculated risk and being reckless. But differentiating your lineups from everyone else's is the name of the game if you plan on taking down one of those highly lucrative DFS tournaments. Whether it's because of bookmaker totals, other options at a given position, or some gem you've found who everyone is overlooking, we can always find potential under-rostered plays if we look hard enough.
Here are three such players to consider branching out for on FanDuel's main slate.
Zach Thompson, P, Miami Marlins ($7,600)
Even with a small sample size, Zach Thompson is worth considering tonight.
Thompson has only pitched 38.2 innings this season, which is his first year in the MLB. So yes, take everything with a grain a of salt going forward. Thompson is holding a 25.9% strikeout rate, which appears to be sustainable for him since he posted a strikeout rate in the minors of 24.9% in 2019 and 30.4% in 2021. His 12.4% swinging-strike rate is promising and shows that he has some strikeout upside.
Thompson will be taking on the New York Mets, who come in with a 23.5% strikeout rate (16th in the league), a .148 ISO (25th), a 93 wRC+ (17th), and a 34.9% fly-ball rate (21st) versus right-handed pitchers. The Mets are simply a below-average offense versus righty pitchers this season and have been struggling as of late.
Austin Riley, 3B, Atlanta Braves ($3,500)
For the second night in a row, the Atlanta Braves are a bit under the radar.
The Braves were a stack I was targeting yesterday and they almost broke through after five runs in the first inning but didn't do much after that. I'm looking to go right back to them tonight since they have a ton of home run upside versus J.A. Happ. This season, Happ is getting destroyed by right-handed hitters this season to the tune of 2.22 HR/9, a 46.5% fly-ball rate, and a 36.0% hard-contact rate. Those numbers present a massive upside for the righties on the Braves and that's what we want to see for tournaments.
We can turn to Austin Riley, who comes in with a .161 ISO, a 40.0% fly-ball rate, but only an 8.3% HR/FB ratio with the platoon advantage. Riley is generating a ton of fly balls versus left-handed pitchers yet so few of them are going for home runs. This should suggest he is due for a bit of positive regression and see more of those fly balls go over the fence. I'm on board with Riley and a full Braves stack tonight.
Max Stassi, C, Los Angeles Angels ($3,300)
There's no reason not to stack the Los Angeles Angels again tonight.
With a 4.50 implied run total, the Angels are the 12th0highest team on the slate, and in the grand scheme of things, rather uninteresting. If that means they aren't going to be popular, I'll be turning to them yet again and hope they put up another 11 runs as they did last night.
That is certainly possible since they are taking on Kolby Allard, who is allowing 1.43 HR/9 to lefties, a 4.47 xFIP, a low 19.8% strikeout rate, a 40.0% fly-ball rate, and a 35.4% hard-contact rate. Those numbers have been highlighted as of late with Allard allowing seven home runs in his last five starts.
If this is going to be the case for Allard, I'll go with Max Stassi, who has a .186 ISO, a 40.0% fly-ball rate, and a surprising 44.0% hard-contact rate versus left-handed pitchers this season. That's some significant home run potential for Stassi, who makes a great tournament option tonight.